Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Adventures

My first low-carb pastry crust burnt to a crisp, but as you can see, its pumpkin pie filling was delicious.

I could have kept experimenting with low-carb crust recipes, foil covers, and cooking times, but I decided it wasn't even necessary. Pie #2 just came out of the oven, and this one is crustless!

See how the filling just goes all the way to the bottom? Who needs crust, anyway?

And since I fully expect Katie to comment on it either way, here is a close-up of that weird navel-like dimple/crack that appeared on the pie during baking:

Who wants the piece with THIS on it?

The recipe I used is a quick, low-carb adaptation from the classic "back of the can" directions on Libby's canned pumpkin. All it took was swapping out the sugar with Splenda and the carb-filled evaporated milk with a little cream and unsweetened almond milk. I also added nutmeg. Because yum.

I was also delighted to find that the Libby folks (a.k.a. Nestle) have cooking temperatures and times for the crustless version posted on their website. I used a 9-inch glass pie plate for my pie, so those are the instructions I'm posting here, but visit the link for details if you're using another material or differently-sized cookware.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie
  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup granulated Splenda or other measures-like-sugar non-sugar sweetener (The original recipe calls for 3/4 cup, but I added more to make up for the sweetness lost by omitting the evaporated milk. You be the judge, here.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie mix or filling)
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream & 3/4 cup unsweetened plain or vanilla almond milk (Or just use all cream or all almond milk.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and grease a 9-inch glass pie plate with butter or nonstick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix Splenda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, cloves, & nutmeg. In a larger bowl, beat 2 eggs. Stir the Splenda mixture into the larger bowl with the eggs. Gradually stir in cream and/or almond milk.

Pour filling directly into greased pie plate and bake on middle rack for 55-60 minutes. (Again, for cook time variations, see here.)

Let pie cool for two hours on a wire rack. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

That's it! So good! My only frustration is that canned pumpkin isn't available all year, since it's a delicious and nutritious low-carb food. I'm totally planning on stocking up while it's still around. The best part about it is that nutrition experts seem to agree that it's every bit as good for you as the fresh version, and some have even found that a few of the nutrients (like Vitamin A) are actually higher in canned pumpkin than in fresh, making the convenient route a no-guilt choice.